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November is National Adoption Awareness Month.
While there have been seasons in which Chris and I have considered adopting a child, each time we come back to a place of knowing we are on a different assignment from the Lord. Our life and hearts are full of love for children, young and old. They may not be ours to keep, but they are ours to hold. We are grateful for the life God has given us, and the influence we get to have in our community, even without babies of our own.
We do have several friends who have adopted, are in the process of adopting, or are hoping to adopt some day. What a joy it is to rally around each of those families!
Last August, we were invited to join Mike and Melanie to celebrate the adoption of their two children. Elijah and Emma were given to our friends as foster children first, but Mike and Melanie fell in love and knew they wanted to adopt these siblings as soon as their biological parents and the courts would allow. After two years of hoping, waiting, praying and paperwork, the Gardiners became a forever family.
This morning, I was invited to join Russell and Cassie, as they finalized Russell's adoption of Cassie's biological daughter, Jenna. Jenna has known Russell as her daddy since she was a toddler, but the process of adoption took four and a half years to complete. Today, Russell was made Jenna's 'legal and forever' father.
Both of these scenarios bring tears to my eyes.
Not only because I got to be there for the moment the final documents were signed and sealed, but for the fact that these families chose each other. No matter what the sacrifice, these two families persevered and held on tightly to their convictions that these children would legally belong to them some day.
I don't think there is a greater joy than knowing you are loved.
No matter what.